This book is unusual for a Rebus one in that it’s set mainly in London as Rebus has been ordered down there to help them as they have a serial killer to deal with. Apparently Rebus is regarded as an expert when it comes to tracking down serial murderers. But he doesn’t see himself as an expert and isn’t happy about being there. As you can imagine he isn’t made welcome by the Met who hate the idea of a Scot knowing more than they do about anything.
I actually did enjoy this one although not so much for the plot, which wasn’t great, but I liked the way Rankin portrayed the Londoners. Everyone that Rebus was introduced to was ‘the best in his field’ this is so true to life in London, I just found it so funny, Rankin certainly captures the attitudes of Londoners who tend to view Scots with disdain, if not horror, well they used to anyway, despite the fact that most of them are clueless about life beyond the Watford Gap as they can’t see beyond London.
For a supposedly hard-bitten cop who was in the SAS Rebus does blush an awful lot, it must be that Presyterian upbringing coming through!
This was set in 1992 and it did seem quite dated but as he was staying in a hotel near Shaftesbury Avenue and that’s a bit of London which I actually know it wasn’t too much of a disappointment that the setting wasn’t the usual Edinburgh one, it’s not that I’m getting really parochial in my old age – I just like being able to imagine the setting properly whether it’s somewhere in Scotland, the Cotswolds or Cornwall, apparently this is the only Rebus book with a London setting.